Hello, I am just starting week 6 of my treatment for throat cancer (Cisplatin x 3, plus 35 radiation, total 7 weeks, P16 positive). I know I have a tough few weeks ahead of me yet to come plus recovery.
I would really value some information from those of you who have been through this as to how long it was until you were able to return to work in some capacity.
Thank you in advance for sharing that info with me.
Hopefully someone will be along soon who has been through a similar cancer and treatment.
Your surgeon should be able to give you some idea of how long you should take off. Have you asked her/him?
How are you going so a far?
When is your surgery scheduled for?
Best of luck!
I returned to work after 5 months. Throat cancer chemo and radiation. Getting back to work was the best thing I could’ve done at the time to take my mind off the cancer thing, although still coping with the side effects was tough. You may be different. Hang in there.
thanks for your reply.
5 months does seem like a long time but I realise I am probably being over-ambitious. I have found myself improving a little each day once I got 8 days past last treatment. I am hoping that continues each day from this point onwards.
I am very bored mentally and sick of tv. I won't know if the treatment has been successful for at least 3 months, and could be longer of course, depending on the PET scan. And I seriously don't want to spend the next 3 months leading up to the PET scan, just continually thinking about myself and cancer. It is not good for my mental health.
I am lucky in that my company will accommodate whatever I need, so I have the option to go back just part time hours and then increase slowly when I am ready for full time again. It's all office work, teleconferences, desktop auditing type stuff and is not physically taxing at all. I think the hardest physical part will be getting dressed each morning and taking bus to city (assuming the Covid lockdown ends and people return to working in offices again).
My current thoughts are returning at 20 hrs pw (5 hrs each day x 4 days) in another month or so. I don't have to decide anything for another couple of weeks though.
Did you go back to full time or part time? And is your job physical? Can I also ask if you had the PEG tube and if so, how long it was before you could eat again? (I can't taste anything currently but it is really my mouth ulcers that prevent me from eating. All I can manage currently is oats with lots of milk in the morning. All other meals are via PEG.
thank you for any info you can provide,
I was 58 at the time my 30x5 mm oropharynx malignancy, base of tongue, was treated with chemo x7 and radio x35 (no operation) over the Xmas period of 2015/16 at Peter Mac in Melbourne. I was fed by nasal tube for approx 10-12 weeks during and after - all up.
My PET scans were on completion of treatments and again at 12 months on. Since then I've been on quarterly surveillance checks. No nausea or loss of hair during treatments, then at 30 months I lost pretty much most of my hair - total body. Below is my recovery snapshot from October last year after I finally made the decision to stop working;
Keep in mind this is just me, and your journey sounds like it will be far more upbeat. I must admit I probably am a "glass half empty" type. I thank God for my "glass half full" wife.
Sorry about the extended rant, hope you find this at least interesting.
your reply is extremely interesting and a timely reminder to me that there are many people who are far worse off than me. I thank you very much for sharing such personal details. I can see why you needed long time off work to manage your health.
I am somewhat paranoid that I am not "sick enough" from the treatment and that maybe that means they didn't do the radiation correctly. I will confess that fear to doctor at next appointment.
I am most certainly a glass half full person, always have been. My husband is a bit of a pessimist but not to the point of being a drag. My health (aside from cancer) was very good. Physically fit, regular walker and runner, ate very healthy foods, maintained healthy weight, no smoking, social wine drinker but only on weekends and not a big consumption. On the negative, I definitely worked too many hours under significant stress. Running was my form of meditation and stress release. I was very self sufficient and self motivated.
My job relies on my brain and communication. It is a high stress position but generally I cope very well with that and find my work to be very satisfying. It's all sedentary, office work and the most physically draining part of going back to work will be the effort required having to get dressed, put on makeup and catch bus to city.
I didn't even know Alopecia was possible side effect. My hair is much thinner and I have lost it along the base of hairline, but I just need a good short hair cut and will be ok.
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